“I was initially drawn to medicine out of an interest in infectious diseases that I saw and experienced while living in rural Thailand after high school. I saw diseases like polio, tuberculosis, and a lack of access to even common antibiotics and vaccinations; this motivated me to further study how education and poverty influence health care access during undergraduate studies.”
As a medical student at UCLA, Dr. Grillo became fascinated with microsurgery and the amazing results that eye surgery could provide. During his residency at the Casey Eye Institute, he developed a passion for the intricacies of surgery in the anterior segment of the eye. He took that interest and passion to the Mason Eye institute where he honed his skills in cataract surgery, corneal transplants, and ocular reconstruction during his cornea fellowship. He stayed on there on as faculty, teaching residents and fellows for the next three years before recently returning home to Oregon to practice at Pacific ClearVision Institute in Eugene.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of eye surgery is the ability to not just restore vision, but in many cases, we are able to improve upon the quality of vision that one has had for much of their life. This was and still is what draws me to eye care.”
Dr. Grillo has consistently been viewed as the “Mr. Fix-it” regarding eye care. Whether it is reconstruction of the eye after trauma, complicated cataract surgery, or challenging cases regarding a variety of corneal transplantation techniques, he is always up for the challenges of the most difficult of cases. In order to meet his patient’s needs, he is proud to provide laser refractive surgery, cataract surgery, and a variety of corneal transplants such as DMEK, DSAEK, DALK, and PKP.
“All the ophthalmologists I know are highly motivated individuals, and that results in surgeons that are never satisfied with the status quo. I am proud to be a part of a specialty where the surgical techniques and medical technology are rapidly advancing as a result of all those individuals and their efforts, that we can’t be good surgeons unless we are constantly pushing ourselves to meet higher and higher standards.”
In addition to patient care, Dr. Grillo is passionate about teaching. He has instructed cornea fellows, as well as numerous residents, acting as assistant program director for the residency program at the Mason Eye Institute. He has been awarded both resident and faculty teaching awards.
“Professionally, there are two things that motivate me. First, there is a lot of joy in helping people see well. Our sight is so important in our lives, and it is rewarding to be able to routinely restore and preserve vision for my patients. Second, I love seeing residents and fellows move on after their training, blossom into new colleagues, and become successful in their own careers.”